That lovely lady on the right - and she really is very lovely - will become my niece (stepniece?) come May and I am so happy about it. That lucky fella on the right is my stepbrother's youngest son, whom we'll call "Pyroman" (everyone else does) and it just makes my heart swell to see how happy he is with the lovely Ms. G.
The girls and I were up in Monroe County last weekend for Ms. G's bridal shower, so we got to visit with several family members. We met up with my sister (I really need to think up some more family nicknames!) in Marietta for lunch and then the four of us headed off to visit The Grandmother. :-) Sis left ahead of us, so when the girls and I pulled in, she got a fun surprise. Amber'd called that morning to make sure she would be at home, but hadn't mentioned the girls and I were also going to stop by. Not having, or really talked, to each other since Christmas, I was looking forward to it. Really, I'd love to make it up there every month to see her, but the translation of that goal always works out differently, dang it. Also, normally, we'd spend the night there and then drive to my mother's in the morning before heading off to Wheeling, WV for the shower, but it was just easier - and about 2 hours less driving - to spend Saturday night at Mom's. As it was, we had a great few hours visiting with Grandma, laughing and embarassing the girls with stories from when they were babies and toddlers.
And then I HAD to stop in Woodsfield on the way to Mom's for paczies. (I probably spelled that wrong - it's Polish and pronounced push-key.) Riesbeck's has the best, unless you live near a Polish bakery, of these amazing filled donuts that you can only get during Lent. Seriously, just the small is heavenly. To actually eat one is well....maybe orgasmic? Definitly incredible.
We also had a great visit with Mom and, just as important, her dogs. The housedog, Chip, was a very special rescue who was once abandoned by his family when they moved. He was left still chained to a dog house and somehow managed to free himself and survive for at least a year on his own. I've never seen a dog with as many issues as this poor guy has, but he's come so far in the few years he's been Mom's care. And he spend a chunk of Saturday giving me the most wonderful attention - trust me, the favor was returned. What was so amazing about his attention was the fact taht both my sister and mother were there as well. Usually he'll go to one of them first because he's more familiar with the two of them, but not this weekend. He even plopped down on Monkey Girl's lap one or twice.
The next day was alot of driving - a total of FOUR hours by the time we got home - but it was so worth it. The girls and I had only met Ms. G once or twice before but we all absolutely adore her. She's sparkly and bubbly and seems truly crazy over Pyroman. AND, just as importantly, seems able to hold her own in the family. We are a loud family, so the ability to hold your own is very important.
And Pyroman just glows when he's around her. ALSO very important.
Since the shower ran a bit late, and we needed to get on the road, Ms. G was even kind enough to open our gift first, so Mom could see her open it. (Did I mention how awesome she was? And her mother and sister seem just as fabulous.) My sister outdid herself putting the gift together. Ms. G was really happy witheverything she pulled out of her gift bag...and then she got to the Rachel Ray cooker above and was REALLY happy. My (step) sisters, Hug and Snort, got them some fabulous gifts as well, all packaged in ribbon tied pillow cases tucked down in ribbon tied plastic storage bins. It was fun watching Pyroman trying to open them without breaking a ribbon and then Ms. G just said, "What the heck?" and went for it. Much laughing occured.
Okay, I need to wrap this up and get on to other things. Sorry if it's a major ramble, but it was a great weekend and a great visit with family that we hadn't seen since, well, Christmas really. We even got to see Aunt Hug and Aunt Snort, who were also at the shower.